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Who Represents Who

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Clients of DLA Piper UK LLP single out the firm’s national expertise and international network, making it an ideal choice for cross-border work. The Manchester team is adept at handling disputes in the retail banking and payment services, as well as the asset finance and leasing sectors. The firm, which is on the panels of a number of major UK financial institutions, acts for clients including The Co-operative Bank, Elavon Financial Services, First Data Corporation, WorldPay (UK) and Metro Bank. Key work included representing RBS in the PIP breast implant Group Litigation Order, which involved advising on the bank’s position arising from potential liabilities under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. ‘Exceptional’ Team head Stewart Plant specialises in litigation, regulatory issues and dispute resolution within the finance sector, and also heads the firm’s global payments practice. Ben Johnson is ‘quick to assimilate facts’ and has ‘good awareness of the commercial realities of cases, as well as a keen eye to the broader strategy of a dispute’. Other key figures include legal director Nicola Higgins, who handles disputes involving consumer credit and retail banking, payment services, as well as professional negligence claims; and senior associate Krystle Robinson.

Addleshaw Goddard acts for major UK Banks and other financial institutions on a range of disputes, with specialist expertise in asset finance and asset based lending. The team also handles professional negligence and fraud mandates, as well asset recovery and regulatory investigations. HSBC Bank, Shawbrook Bank, Yorkshire Building Society, West Bromwich Building Society, Aldermore Bank, Aldermore Invoice Finance and Nationwide Building Society are clients. The department was recently bolstered by the arrival of the ‘outstandingHarold Brako from Shoosmiths LLP, who is experienced in asset based lending and receivables financing. He leads a team that includes Ben Lowans, who splits his time between Manchester and Leeds and specialises in finance litigation and fraud, and Legal director Helen Collinge, who joined the team from Shoosmiths LLP alongside Brako. Managing associate Matthew O'Neill is also recommended.

The ‘effective and commercial’ department at DWF is split across its Liverpool and Manchester offices and acts for major UK retail banks, finance houses and non-captive automotive finance companies. Recent work includes defending Brown Shipley & Co and KBL European Private Bankers against a £71m claim. Lloyds Banking Group, Santander Consumer (UK), FirstRand Bank and UK Asset Resolution are also clients. Key figures include national head of finance litigation John Perez, who is singled out for his motor finance expertise, and the ‘tenaciousRitchie Irvine, who ‘recognises the individual needs of the client’ and ‘provides commercially effective advice’. Also recommended are the ‘astuteGraham Sidlow; David Wood, who handles non-contentious consumer credit and regulatory matters; Julia Williams, who heads the consumer credit and asset finance division; senior associate Daniel Fitzgerald, who recently joined from Kuit Steinart Levy LLP; and associates Dominic Jones and Jonathan Hall.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a ‘highly regarded’ team that is able to draw on expertise from its UK and international network to handle major banking litigation. It is on the panels of several major UK banks and also acts for a number of challenger banks, for which the team handles matters involving regulatory risk, contentious regulatory investigations and enforcement cases. The team is representing a major financial institution in a number of claims brought by its customers on the basis that the application of the firm’s sanctions policy led to direct or indirect discrimination, and is representing an asset manager in five contested commercial lending cases. Key clients include HSBC Bank, BNP Paribas, Clydesdale Bank, The Co-operative Bank, Svenska Handelsbanken and Jerrold Holdings. The ‘brilliantJames Southworth heads the northern practice and Zia Ullah advises on fraud and financial crime compliance. Newly promoted partner Sarah Naylor is also recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs attracts praise for its ‘sizeable litigation expertise and clout in the North West’ and ability to deliver ‘sensible and pragmatic advice’. The team, which leverages the firm’s international network of offices, regularly represents financial sector clients in complex, high-value, high-profile litigation in the English courts, and in international arbitration. Highlights included conducting investigations for six non-US banks into compliance with US sanctions regulations, and advising a building society on a £55m professional negligence claim against a major UK accountancy firm. Department head Anthony Taylor (who is rated for his ‘energy and resourcefulness’ and who ‘will not let go until he has got the best result available’) handles a raft of professional negligence claims against the advisers to banks and building societies. Mike Caird and ‘robust litigator’ Peter Lees are singled out at senior associate level.

Berg’s ‘highly regarded’ borrower-focused practice primarily acts for SMEs, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in complex banking and finance disputes and investment claims. Chief executive Alison Loveday (an expert in financial regulation and mis-selling) is representing the claimants in a £30m financial dispute and regulatory claim against RBS. Euro Hotels Group, Metro Bank, Laver Holdings and Together Money are also clients. New recruits include team head Andrew Davidson, who joined from Knights Professional Services Limited; Daniel Brumpton, who handles professional negligence cases and joined from Irwin Mitchell; and insolvency specialist Christopher McDuff, who joined from BCIA Recovery and Turnaround. John Colvin is also recommended. Former head of dispute resolution Damian Carter joined Weightmans LLP in 2017.

Gateley Plc is noted for maintaining ‘excellent client relationships’ and routinely handles a range of contentious matters – including complex recoveries, security enforcement, fraud and professional negligence claims – for banks, building societies and other financial providers. It also assists clients with complaints to the Financial Services Ombudsman and defends claims involving allegations of mis-selling of financial products. The team, which works closely with its colleagues in Birmingham and Leeds, is headed by the ‘experiencedAndrew Field.

Hill Dickinson LLP handles general finance litigation, with particular expertise in the asset based lending sector, for which it handles invoice discounting and receivables finance disputes. The team is also increasingly instructed on fraud-related matters. In Liverpool, Phil Sheard leads on finance litigation and heads the commercial debt recovery team. Sheard led the team representing Bibby Factors North West in two unpaid invoice disputes against Alifast and Highline Cladding. Sheard also led advice to the European Commission on the recovery of €1.8m from a limited company which had recently been placed into liquidation. In Manchester, legal director Sharon Williamson heads the finance litigation team and acted for Bibby Factors Manchester on the recovery of funds advanced pursuant to an invoice discounting agreement; she also led the team representing an asset based lender client in a personal and proprietary freezing injunction against an employee who had misappropriated funds. Lloyds Bank, Hitachi Capital (UK), Bank of Ireland (UK) and Factor 21 are also clients.

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